What is a startup incubator
It?s the startup era, and with a higher number of people launching startups every day across the world, the fourth industrial revolution is in the making. The startup incubators have grown in parallel as an ecosystem to help the fledgling startups.
The first startup incubator was formed in the Batavia Industrial Centre in the year 1959 when the great recession had hit the United States. Its been a growth trajectory for incubators, having grown from a handful ?12? in the 1980?s to over 1250 in the US alone. It is estimated that there are over 7000 business incubators globally, with close to half them in urban areas and a similar number are classified ?mixed-use,? guiding the early-stage companies.
A startup incubator is a company that helps the new startup succeed. These may be non-profit entities and are run by both public and private entities. Successful entrepreneurs, government, and startup groups also form some of the incubators. Incubators are not only related to the tech sector it varies from the fashion to the food industry, but there are also all-purpose incubators as well, which are regardless of the industry involved.
The startup incubation is seen as a means of fostering a community?s entrepreneurial climate. The government or economic development organizations sponsor about one-third of the incubation programs. The incubators offer the startups access to tangibles like funding and intangibles like expertise and networking. The main aim of the incubators is to foster networking among their entrepreneurs, and the founders, incubators work and operate on a virtual basis.
The Incubators are also becoming a significant driver of job creation, by supporting and transforming the lives of the people and the community on a global scale by helping entrepreneurs.
Here?s what Startup Incubators have to offer:
Incubators help the startups with the business basics, marketing assistance, and better networking opportunities. The incubator also helps with legal counsel, intellectual property management and assisting startups to connect with right strategic partners. The most important function of a startup incubator is that it connects the angel investors, venture capital to the founders.
Lastly, the central question in the entrepreneur?s mind is that with so many incubators in the global market the decision isn?t about incubator or no incubator, but it is about figuring out which incubator program will be the best one for your startup?
How To Select an Incubator for your startup
These are the pointers you need to keep in mind while choosing a startup incubator so that you can gain lasting value from the relationship:
The startup incubator, which you want to be associated with, should be capable of providing you with links related to your industry.
The incubator your startup is getting linked to should have a well-integrated local business community and a steady source of contacts to help you in product market fit testing.
Is there an opportunity for you to preserve capital, Incubators offer shared services, office space as well as the other resources, which enables the founders to stretch their seed capital.
The incubators provide the founders with a chance to access the money and the capital markets through either their corpus or that of its network.
Don?t get mesmerized by the sweet-talking breed; many want to make money off your work, by being your mentor. Mentoring is important. However, that should not be the only thing on the table unless you are well funded and an industry veteran.
It has never been easier to launch a business, take the best support from the ecosystem and be a job creator.